2017 non-word of the year

Apostroph – no falsehoods

Did anyone do as much as Donald Trump to keep the media on their toes last year? The US President never failed to drop a clanger, and his tweets, however insignificant, were picked over and debated in detail for their substance and strategy – often leaving nothing but hot air in their wake. Hang on a minute, though! Weren’t there also a few nuggets of cold, hard facts to be gleaned? Such as, for instance, those claims made by the White House regarding Trump’s presidential inauguration ceremony being attended by more spectators than ever before in the history of the occasion – even though photos of the event arrived at a completely different conclusion. It was a situation that led Kellyanne Conway, Trump’s adviser, to describe the White House version of events as “alternative facts”.

The term raced around the world and has now made it to the German list of “non-words of the year”. “The term is an obfuscating and misleading expression that describes the attempt to make falsehoods socially acceptable as a legitimate means of public debate,” commented the jury, and went on: “It is characteristic of the practice, which is proliferating, of replacing verifiable arguments with claims that have no basis in fact.”

It goes without saying that we at Apostroph Group cannot check every fact for its irrefutable truth and correctness. However, our shrewd language professionals do their level best to scrutinise texts. And if they do come across any blunders, hollow words or inconsistencies, rest assured that we won’t leave you dropping linguistic clangers.